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American Annals of the Deaf

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58. Lang and Meath-Lang, Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences. Another early deaf artist was George Ropes (born in 1788), who became a pupil of the early American marine artist Michele Felice Corne. He was a “deaf and dumb painter” of Salem, Massachusetts. In 1804, he made a copy of an old portrait of Salem’s first church, and this copy is preserved in the museum of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, Massachusetts. He died in January 1819.

59. “Nina Fletcher Little and John Brewster, Jr,” in J. Lipman and T. Armstrong, eds., American Folk Painters of Three Centuries (New York: Hudson Hill, 1980), 18. Cogswell was the grandfather of Alice Cogswell, whose deafness led Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc to found the American School for the Deaf. She was born fifteen years after this encounter with young Brewster.

60. Lang and Meath-Lang, Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences.

61. For detail, see Harry G. Lang, Silence of the Spheres: The Deaf Experience in the History of Science (Westport, Conn.: Bergin and Garvey Press, 1994).

62. Francis Green, “On Teaching the Deaf to Understand Language and the Dumb to Speak,” Medical Repository 2 (1804): 73–75.

63. Alexander Graham Bell, “Historical Notes Concerning the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf,” Association Review 2 (1900): 61–62. In 1803, Francis Green published in a Boston newspaper a request to the clergy in Massachusetts to obtain information on the number of deaf children residing in the state. It was his intention to determine whether the number warranted the establishment of a special school. In the following year, the Reverend John Stanford found several deaf children in an almshouse in New York City and began to teach them.

64. Francis Green, Vox Oculis Subjecta, 12.

65. John Quincy Adams to William Cranch, December 14, 1784. Reprinted in the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb 8 (1856): 248.

66. Ibid.

67. The article appeared as an appendix to a work with the lengthy title “CADMUS, or a Treatise on the Elements of written language, illustrating, by a Philosophical Division of Speech, the Power of each character, thereby mutually fixing the Orthography and Orhoepy.”

68. William Thornton, “On Teaching the Surd, or Deaf, and Consequently Dumb, to Speak,” Association Review 5: 414.

69. John Winthrop, History of New England (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1853), 281. In the same year (1637) that Winthrop reported this case, colonists in Virginia also petitioned to England for payment for the guardianship of an individual with an “intellectual disability.”

70. William Stokoe, Sign Language Structure: An Outline of the Visual Communication of the American Deaf, Studies in Linguistics, Occasional Papers 8, Silver Spring, Md.: Linstok Press 1960), 13.

71. Susan Fischer, Influences on Word Order Change in American Sign Language. In C. N. Li (Ed.), Word Order and Word Order Change. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1975) and James Woodward, Historical Bases of American Sign Language. In P. Siple (Ed.), Understanding Language Through Sign Language Research (pp. 333-348). New York: Academic Press 1978).

72. James Woodward, “Historical Bases,” 345.


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